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Released in 1987, Louder Than Bombs is a compilation album by English rock band The Smiths.
What’s the hook?
Louder Than Bombs, the 1987 compilation of singles and b-sides that were previously unavailable in the U.S., may well provide the best initial exposure to the Smiths for American audiences. Across four sides of vinyl, you can hear the full range of singer Morrissey’s pathos, confusion and dour observations, all set to a distinctive instrumental approach that influenced so-called “college rock” for the better part of a decade.
Take the three aforementioned songs. “Shoplifters of the World Unite” roils with a dark energy, as Morrissey sings not only of the things we take from the world, but also what the world takes from us (“But last night the plans of a future war / Was all I saw on Channel Four”). The desperation in “Hand in Glove” is palpable, both lyrically and in the dense haze of vocal and Johnny Marr’s guitar. And “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” is one of the great hangover songs of the ‘80s--hangovers of both the boozy and emotional varieties.
That’s just the surface of the 24-track collection, which includes the jangly cynicism of “William, It Was Really Nothing” and its beautiful b-side “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” (which has been covered by everyone from Kirsty MacColl to Hootie and the Blowfish); the piano-driven instrumental “Oscillate Wildly” and the breakneck classic “Shakespeare’s Sister”; the sadder-than-sad “Unloveable” (“I wear black on the outside / Because black is how I feel on the inside”) and the jumpy, sardonic rarity “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby.”
In 2003, the album was ranked number 365 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and ranked 369 on a 2012 revised list. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1990.
- Is It Really So Strange?
- Sheila Take A Bow
- Shoplifters Of The World Unite
- Sweet And Tender Hooligan
- Half A Person
- Girl Afraid
- Shakespeare's Sister
- William, It Was Really Nothing
- You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby
- Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
- Golden Lights
- Oscillate Wildly
- These Things Take Time
- Rubber Ring
- Back To The Old House
- Hand In Glove
- Stretch Out And Wait
- Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
- This Night Has Opened My Eyes